Secure Your Home Before Your Summer Vacation
As we make our way through the summer months, you may be going on a trip or two. If so, here are some simple ways to make sure you come back to your home safe and sound, and not a watery nightmare.
Do an Inspection
As you're packing the car and getting ready to head out, do a quick inspection of your home to ensure you are ready to leave. Turn off the water main, and drain the existing water from the sinks, toilets and outdoor spigots. Once the water main is switched off, turn on faucets, spigots and flush toilets under water no longer flows out.
Other places to inspect:
- Pipes under every sink
- Water heater
- Seals around windows (in case it rains)
- Appliance hoses: washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker
- Sump pump - dump a bucket of water into the sump pump to make sure it's working. Make sure to listen to its motor running as well.
- Toilet tanks - look for cracks that may worsen and leak while you're gone
Have Someone Check Your Home
Give a set of keys to a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor and have them check on your home periodically while you're gone. The amount of times they should check in depends on the length of your trip, but should at least be twice a week. Once water damage occurs, letting it stagnate for days at a time can multiply the cleanup cost tremendously. Show your house sitter all bathrooms, where the water main is, and other areas that are at risk of water damage. Leaving a check list for them will make sure they don't miss any subtle leaks or moisture.
Leave heating and cooling running as normal. These allow air flow through your home and prevent humidity from building up. They also will keep pipes from freezing if there is a sudden temperature drop one night, which is more of risk during the fall and winter months than in summer.
Enjoy Your Trip!
If you do a thorough inspection, take proactive safety measures and leave someone to look after your home, then you have done more than enough to ensure you won't suffer from water damage. Although anything is possible, and even the most cautious plan can still not prevent water damage, you shouldn't worry about the safety of your home while on vacation. Take steps to prepare and enjoy your time away!